tv Sally Mc Millen on Lucy Stone CSPAN July 11, 2015 8:00am-9:01am EDT
presidential campaign, and books on the decline of intellectual habits, a movement by former gang members to rebuild their families and lives and a dual biography of andrew jackson and cherokee leader john ross. all this and more this weekend on booktv. for a complete television schedule, visit booktv.org. booktv, 48 hours this weekend of nonfiction books and authors. television for serious readers. >> historian sally mcmillen is next on booktv. she recounts the life of abolitionist and suffragist lucy stone who she contends should be celebrated amongst the likes of susan b. anthony and elizabeth cady stanton for her activism. >> it's now my distinct honor and privilege to introduce dr. sally mcmillen who is the mary reynolds babcock professor
of history at davidson college in north carolina. she earned her ph.d. at duke university, and along the way we learned today got a degree in library science. she has been one of the most important and productive scholars of 19th century women's history in the past two decades. her books include "motherhood in the old south," "southern women," and seneca falls and the origins of the women's rights movement. her brand new book which recently received a wonderful review in the l.a. times is entitled "lucy stone: an unapologetic life." a path-breaking activist, lucy stone at last has a biography and biographer worthy of her inspired and inspiring life. please help me welcome to benjamin franklin's library company the distinguished scholar, dr. sally mcmillen.
[applause] >> thank you so much, rich, and i just wanted to say it's an absolute delight to be here. i want to thank rich for inviting me and for the library company for also inviting me, and it's just a pleasure to be in philadelphia. it's a great city, and i actually have heard of this, the library company of philadelphia, but i'd never been here before. got my own personal tour this morning, and it's an exceptional place, so you are very lucky to have this. so let me start on lucy stone. in the rotunda of our nation's capitol stands an impressive monument celebrating three remarkable 19th century women, also important in winning universal suffrage for women; lou chief shah not elizabeth cady stanton and susan b. anthony, but a fourth woman is every bit as deserving, lucy
stone. she was equally dedicate today the women's rights movement and also a celebrated, passionate orator for the anti-slavery movement. her absence from the monument says volumes about how we tell our history and whom we celebrate. tonight i want to chisel lucy, at least temporarily into that marble. i decided to write a biography of lucy stone after i completed a book on the seven that falls movement -- seneca falls movement. my editor at oxford commented i seemed to enjoy writing about people and should consider biography. lucy stone immediately came to mind. for many years in my teaching, i talk about and use lucy stone as an example of not only a great woman, but also how often we leave important people out of our past. so i plunged in using lucy's and her family's correspondence, convention reports and the widespread newspaper coverage that she generated.
what was especially fun was with my husband visiting several places where lucy had lived and died. even though none of her homes remain stand ising actually being present at these various sites and imagining herr living there gave me a better sense of who lucy was. born on august 13, 1818, near the village of west brookfield, massachusetts, lucy grew up on a farm the sixth of seven children. her father, francis embraced patriarchal tenants of the day ruling over his household and his family. he expected obedience from his wife hannah, and their children. as lucy later wrote, there was only one will in our home, and that was my father's. like most farm children, lucy and her siblings helped plant crops, garden, hauled wood and water,ed food, cooked laundered and even sew ised leather
shoe -- sew ised leather shoe topped for local tanners. lucy sensed the need for further education in order for her to lead a more purposeful life. when she asked her parents if she could continue her schooling, they said she had had more than enough education to find a good husband which, of course, was the goal for nearly all young women at that time. lucy, however, had little interest in marriage and began teaching school and intermittently attending semesters at a number of private academies in the area including the newly-opened mount holyoke female seminary. while in her late teens, she learned of bearland college --
oberlin college which was accepting women and african-americans. she was determined to attend. though francis had sent two of lucy's brothers to college he refused to help pay her way since she was a woman and in his eyes had absolutely no need for higher education. so lucy taught school, saved her money, and in 1843, with $92 in hand, traveled 650 miles to attend oberlin. one can only imagine the raised eyebrows when fellow travelers met this petite young woman and learned that she was alone and headed to, of all places, the first college in the nation to accept women. at oberlin she scrimped and saved and worked to earn enough money to pay her expenses. at one point she worked three jobs and slept only four hours a night, and she studied and she studied. lucy stood out not only because
she was brilliant and outspoken but unlike most students and faculty at oberlin she supported the idea of william lloyd garrison is, one of the nation's most radical abolitionists. and while oberlin was remarkable for admitting women and african-americans, it embraced traditional ideas about how women should behave. the school did not believe women should speak in public, and after lucy delivered a lecture to village residents as they celebrated haiti's independence days, she was reprimanded by to berlin's ladies' committee. women students were not allowed to speak in public, take rhetoric classes or participate in men's debating societies. so she and her best friend, ann two net brown secretly founded a women's debating society, the very first in the nation. as a senior and at the top of her class lucy was invited by the faculty to write an essay to be delivered at graduation.
she was told however, while she could write the essay is, it would be absolutely unseemly for a woman to appear on stage and read what she had written. a man had to do that. a principled, proud lucy refused to participate but she graduated in 1847 at the age of 29, becoming the fist massachusetts woman -- the first massachusetts woman and one of the first women in our nation to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree. in researching lucy stone's life, i could not help but wonder what set her apart from hundreds of thousands of other farm girls in the nation who did not become reformers activists or suffragists, how to explain her belief in higher education for women and her commitment to the anti-slavery movement and to women's rights. well, for one thing, she had good genes. some of her forebearers were ground breakers such as a forefather who defended a woman accused of witchcraft in 17th century massachusetts and a grandfather who had fought in the american revolution and was
a leader in shay's shays' rebellion. all the stones were abolitionists and subscribed to and read garrison's anti-slavery newspaper, the liberator. lucy however was the only family member who became an ardent suffragist, rebelling against the laws that kept women -- especially married women -- in a state of submission. women were not allowed to vote is hold public office, serve on juries, sign contract, attend college or pursue professional careers. when married they fell under the legal control of their husbands and were expected to remain at home. but lucy became especially sensitive and affected by men's oppression of women. she saw how her father treated her hour, how stingy he was even though hannah worked as hard as he did and how verbally and physically abusive he could be when he drank too much cider. lucy experienced women's
invisibility when she attended a church meeting to decide whether to the expend a member -- expel a member who was deeply involved in the abolition movement. when lucy raised her hand to vote on this very matter and defend the man, the minister told the vote counter to ignore her, for even though she was a church member, she could not vote because she was a woman. lucy observed a neighbor woman married to a domineering alcoholic, adulteress husband and she wondered why the woman was not able to leave him when the woman's father appeared and tried to rescue his daughter. lucy is read and objected to passages in the bible that insisted on women's silence and inferiority, and she decided to learn greek to understand the language, certain that bible passages had been mistranslated. in 1837 new england ministers were aghast when two south carolina sisters angelina and sarah, lectured on anti-slavery to men and women. ministers wrote a formal protest
which lucy heard read in church and she was incensed by their effort to try to silence these two women. she vowed at that point to dedicate her life to insuring women's right to speak in public. while a senior at to berlin and over the objections of her parents and her sister, lucy decided to become a public lecturer for the anti-slavery movement. today i think it's impossible to imagine how daring and challenging that career was for a young woman. lucy had no money no name recognition beyond her home and oberlin. but in the spring of 1848 the massachusetts anti-slavery society hired her as a speaker and she gave her first talk on women's rights actually several weeks before the first women's rights convention met at seneca falls, new york. lucy moved to boston and lived with a family, barely making enough to live on. within a few months she added
women's rights to her talks because she told fellow abolitionists, i'm a woman, and of course, they're my cause too. early on lucy shared the stage with ralph waldo emerson wendell phillips, frederick douglass. soon she was also lecturing on her own and attracting large crowds. for by the early 1850s lucy's tone had become a spell binding orator and one of the most famous women in the nation. she attracted audiences by the hundreds and in a few case, even by the thousands. journalists were amazed at lucy's magic in influencing a crowd. unlike the rantings of abby kelly foster and the shrill, grating voice of susan b. anthony, lucy's voice and winning manner were apparently mesmerizing. one learns that lucy's musical voice could silence protesters and drown out speakers.
her intensity of purpose and an ability to move her listeners were profound. one example of her intense commitment to the anti-slavery movement was that in the early 1850s she joined garrison and some of his follow possessor by demanding the radical -- followers by urging northern states to separate from southern states. in other words, to secede and thus create a nation free of slavery. we always, of course, blame the south. her most effective moments were the stories she shared about the evils of slavery and the oppression of women. this was something compelling in the way lucy spoke and what she had to say. initially, she and others charged no entrance fees for abolitionists wanted to attract as many people as possible. but lucy and others realized that people were willing to pay to hear them. after all, this was 19th century entertainment at its best. i try to get this into my
student, there's no internet or tv. she was soon earning a substantial income, and her financial worries ended. whether those in the audiences were supporters or points, everyone wanted to hear lucy stone. the press made her a household name. she had become a star. but public lecturing was a dangerous profession, especially for a woman addressing two radical causes. we often forget how many people, even in the north, opposed abolition and women's rights. mobs gathered to protest. men heckled and hassled. in 1838, protesters burned down philadelphia's pennsylvania hall for free discussion to protest the biracial gathering of women engaged in the anti-slavery movement. men threw rotten vegetable fruit and hymnals at lucy and other speakers, and in one instance they doused her with ice cold water by forcing a hose
through a window behind the stage where she was speaking. a resolute lucy grand her shawl and kept -- grabbed her shawl and kept on talking. another time on cape cod, an angry mob moved toward lucy and two other orators and tried to force them off stage. lucy grabbed the arm of one big man and said he would protect her. lecturing was also exhausting and challenging. 19th century travel conditions were often primitive going by horse, train coach or even foot. sometimes in blizzards and driving rain. for several years lucy traveled across new england and the middle atlantic states and undertook a major lecture tour across the midwest and even to the slave states of missouri and kentucky. she stayed overnight in hotels dirty boarding houses or homes where she might sleep on filthy
sheets separated only by a curtain from men who slept in the same room. but as lucy always maintained no great cause was won without great sacrifice. and her efforts even challenged female fashion. in the early 1850s lucy, elizabeth cady stanton and a few other women adopted an outfit of no skirts. public outcry was so enormous, however, women gave it up realizing that people were paying more attention to what they were wearing rather than to the message they were trying to deliver. from this point forward, lucy dressed simply in a black silk dress and white collar and no corsets. she attracted people to her lectures and to her causes. some came simply to hear the famous lucy stone.
but then left as converts to her cause. moat of her speeches were extemporaneous a major tragedy for historians since we depend on the written wompletd fortunately, scribes and journalists took notes on her talks. she was also an expert at responding to retorts and holding her own when challenged by rude comments from the floor. at one event a man shouted out by accusing her of being a disappointed woman. in this one of her most famous comments she seized the moment to admit that she was indeed a disappointed; disappointed by a woman that prevented -- disappointed by a nation that accepted slavery. in 1853 she gave a series of lectures in kentucky on women's rights, a bold act in a southern state that embraced women's inferior status. there she won over hundreds of people who came to hear her.
her kentucky hosts were charmed by this feminine petite woman and her bold arguments. dozens if not scores of people joined the women's rights movement because of lucy. by the mid 1850s, she was far better known than were elizabeth decade city stanton and susan b. annie. but lecturing was only one part of her life. in addition to her speaking career, in 1850 she and seven other women decided to advance women's rights by holding a national convention, one larger and more inclusive than seneca falls, new york. the first national women's rights convention was held in worcester, massachusetts in october 1850 and attracted hundreds of people from across the nation. from then until 1857, lucy played a central role in organizing these annual national women's rights conventions
selecting a location, finding speakers and entertainers, raising money and publicizing the meetings. the press and most americans identified lucy as head of this young movement which operated without a budget, an office, officers or a newspaper. but her life altered significantly in the mid 1850s. two major moments occurred at the height of lucy's career and her earning power. her marriage and two years later her becoming a mother. for years lucy had publicly and privately rejected the idea of marriage, though a few young men had courted her. she abhorred the laws that defined women as fem coverts and made them legal sub subservient to their husbands. women lost their own claim to their property and wages the inability to sign contracts or to act as independent beings.
subservience was not something lucy had envisioned for herself for she had created a rich fulfilling life. but she also yearned for intimacy and the closeness of family that she had known as a child. it was henry brown blackwell who heard lucy speak at an anti-slavery convention and determined he would marry her. despite garrison's warning to blackwell that lucy would never marry, he began his pursuit. he was seven years her junior and at that point a partner in is ains natty hardware -- cincinnati hardware store. and henry was used to strong women. an older sister elizabeth blackwell -- [laughter] was the first woman in the country -- okay, everybody knows her -- to graduate from medical school and become a doctor. younger sister emily did the same a few years later. for two years henry courted lucy with astonishing relentlessness, mostly through correspondence. his letters disturb -- his
letters, and there are scores of them, were pages long written in his beautiful, tiny handwriting often cross hatch. that's when you write across the page and up and down, and as a researcher you say i know there's nothing in this leapter i want to read -- letter i want to read, i can't read it. [laughter] he shared his belief in a marriage of equals promising lucy she could continue her career, sell bright past heroines and discussing literature: reading these letters -- and i read them all -- is a fascinating experience though at times i wanted to shout out, get a life henry. [laughter] henry, whose career path up to this point had been rather aimless was drawn tohouse city's -- lucy's devotion to unpopular causes, her independence, her resoluteness and her fame. henry, a people pleaser, hoped lucy would become his beacon for him to lead a more inspired life. eventually, lucy gave in, though
not without experiencing a great deal of stress for she was abandoning one of her basic principles. but henry kept his word, insisting that lucy create a legal contract to keep her own money and future earnings separate from his. to be able to purchase property in her own name to travel, attend conventions and lecture. they wed in the early morning of may 1 1855, at the stone family farmhouse. the word "obey" was removed from the service. [laughter] immediately after the ceremony, the couple published in several papers a protest that they had composed that objected to all the laws that removed rights from a wife and put power in the hands of a husband. well suffragists heralded this protest. the press had a field day, wondering how a couple could marry and then censure the very idea of marriage. a year later after consulting with lawyers lucy took an even
more radical step by keeping her maiden name. after all since men kept their names when they married, why could women not do the same? and on the front of this cover it says -- a quote from houston city, it says a wife should no more take her husband's name than he should take hers. my name my identity and must not be lost. i think it was 1921 where there was an organization founded, the lucy stoners, of women who kept their maiden names. henry had no objection to this, but the only time this worked againstout city was in the -- lucy was in the 1880s when montana women gained the right -- when massachusetts women gained the right to vote in school board lengths. she was told she could not register as lucy stone, she had to use the name lucy stone blackwell. she refused and her only opportunity to vote was lost. but lucy put her anti-slavery and women's rights work on hold in 1857 after giving birth to
daughter alice. she tried to find time to lecture, but the nurses she hired for alice proved incompetent. finances were a problem for the family. henry never proved a consistent breadwinner. he sold his partnership in the hardware store and tried to learn the sugar beet business, one his late father had pursued. he then speculated in thousands of achiers of land in wisconsin and illinois, though it was not until after the civil war that the land sold and finally gave the family financial security. domestic life became even more difficult when henry left their new jersey home to work in chicago for five months selling agricultural books. alice was not yet a year a old. in 1859 the three moved to chicago for henry's job and there lucy gave birth to a premature baby boy who died. though she wrote very little
about this heart-wrenching event, one senses she became ever more devoted to caring for alice. lucy pulled back from her lecturing and from the women's movement to become a full-time mother. during the civil war, she devoted much of her attention to raising and caring for the family members who were ill as well as fighting to end slavery. after the civil war lucy returned to her cause as a member of the american equal rights association which fought to create a truly just nation, insisting that both former slaves and women gain the right to vote. congress did address black male citizenship and black men's right to vote through the passage of the 14th and 15th amendments. this action had major repercussions on lucy's life for it led to a major split in the women's movement. stanton and anthony opposed both amendments. stanton in particular was outraged by congress' action because politicians had let
black male suffrage trump women's suffrage. she pointed out in very racist language that most freed men could not even read or write while educated, white informed women like herself had been demanding the right to vote since the seneca falls convention of 1848. ultimately, lucy supported both amendments, hoping that a 16th amendment would soon follow and give women the right to vote. of course that did not happen. instead, this situation split the women's movement in 1869 and led to the creation of two organizations both seeking women's suffrage. stanton and anthony first creating the national woman's suffrage association, and a few months later lucy organizing the american women's suffrage association. lucy found she could not work with these two women who did not
support equality for all even though she too was upset with congress for ignoring women's demands. that same year lucy decided the family should move to boston. she had many friend there and she wanted to distance herself from the nwsa which was headquartered in new york. she decided to start a newspaper covering women's issues, hoping this new pursuit would create an easier calmer life or, as she put it, a snug home. she, henry and alice moved to boston purchasing a large home in dorchester, a popular suburb to the south of the city. they managed to raise $10,000 from friends and supporters to start the woman's journal a weekly paper whose first issue came out on january 8 187 every game you play in league for two years -- she had never pursued
this type of work before, but with her typical determination she pounded the streets to raise money, sold advertising space sought new subscribers and writers and wrote many of the editorials. at times she was certain the paper would fail, but it lasted until the 19th amendment was ratified and women finally won the right to vote in 1920. the paper was seen by some as playing an influential role in the fight for women's suffrage, but it was hard on lucy. she often had to forgo family vacations on martha's vineyard and a trip to europe because the newspaper came first. the work affected her health, and she suffered under the strain rheumatism, an irregular heartbeat and anxiety were among her many health problems. sister-in-law and physician
emily blackwell insisted that lucy absent herself from all duties associate with the the american woman's suffrage association. rarely did lucy pay heed for she could not imagine leaving the paper or the organization. this is only a brief summary of lucy's life, but i want to discuss a few issues that challenged me in researching and writing her story. excuse me. one topic i had to confront was henry's alleged relationship in 1869 with a mrs. p. which a few scholars have avowed was a full-blown affair. i am less certain. what was the nature of that relationship? a close friendship? a flirtation or adultery? having a sexual relationship for any woman in the 19th century was extremely risky because there was no absolute means to prevent a child other than a.n.s.w.e.r. innocence. --
abstinence. if mrs. p. was the person historians assume her to be, this is a beautiful woman abby hutchinson patton, a member of the famous family of sickers who inter-- singers who entertained at anti-slavery conventions. the pattons were come friends n. 1869 lucy was distracted, upset and busy consumed with women's issues and the founding of the awsa. henry was a needy affectionate, spontaneous man in contrast to his serious focused, hard working wife. one can imagine he might have been tempted to stray. whatever happened was upsetting to lucy and to henry's sisters. only a few scattered remarks exist in letters mentioning a mrs. p. and a poignant letter from lucy in 1870 urging emily to tell her brother henry to stay away from mrs. p.. no doubt much of lucy's anguish over heartbreaking event must
have been discussed in private. other letters may have revealed details, but a house fire in 1870 destroyed most of the letters henry had ever received. and after her parents died, alice destroyed all correspondence that reflected poorly on the family. in any case henry and lucy were able to rebuild their marriage though it took time. henry may have agreed to move to boston out of guilt a sense that he owed this to lucy or to remove himself from temptation. i tried to tread carefully and not be absolute in defining this for all marriages have issues, and much of what occurs duds so behind -- does so behind closed doors. another matter was the acrimonious relationship that developed between lucy and superb. anthony. in the 1850s the two women were close supportive friends often expressing very tender feelings in their letters to one another. their friendship began to unravel in 1867 and ended in
1869 with the formation of the two women's suffrage organizations. letters by both women revealed nasty, hurtful comments. i wish i could claim that lucy was more charitable than anthony, but both women took after one another. this was human behavior at its worst. the press even observed the two women's intolerance toward one another. lucy could be prickly moralistic and defeintsive, though she correctly -- defensive, though she correctly identified anthony's ambition to lead the women's movement, often railroading through ideas despite strong opposition. one example of anthony's elevated sense of self was her hiring ida husband stead to write her biography, a work that expanded to three volumes with every word of it having to be approved by anthony. why lucy stone has such a limited presence in the history of the 19th century women's
movement and in the anti-slavery movement and why she is not acknowledged as one of our nation's major heroines. her absence reveals much about how history gets recorded and remembered. most abolitionists who loom large in our history such as william lloyd garrison, harriet beecher stowe wrote articles and books or published their speeches. as i mentioned, lucy almost always spoke extemporaneously, and she even admitted she disliked writing. thus, we have few actual written records of her many speeches and her significant role in the anti-slavery movement. she never wrote about herself. the women's movement was another matter. in the early 1880s stanton anthony and jocelyn matilda gage embarked upon a huge project to produce a history of the women's movement. stanton had already written a couple of encyclopedia articles and essays on the topic.
now the three began collecting sources, newspaper accounts, speeches, convention reports letters, government documents and they asked dozens of women in the national women's suffrage associate to write autobiographical entries. stanton asked lucy to contribute, but she refused. as she had refused every journalist and author who wanted to write about her. throughout her life lucy possessed a heightened sense of humility and a desire to avoid the limelight. she never can't a diary or wrote a memoir, and unlike stanton and anthony who loveed public attention and party, she never well come end -- welcomed celebrations to honor her. for lucy it was the movement not the individuals leading it, who mattered. she also had a keen sense of history, believing it was far too soon to write about a movement whose goal had yet to be worn. nor did she wish to be associate with the the written account she sensed that would be biased and
celebrate the contributions of its editors and the national women's suffrage association is. volume one appeared in 181 and covered the women's movement up to 1861. reviews were generally positive even in the woman's journal. volume two covering 1861-1876, was another matter for it presented a skewed view of the movement. featured were stanton anthony, nwsa members and that organization's activities. there was no mention of the 1869 split, of standtop's racist comments on the 14th and 15th amendments or of unfortunate incidents in the early 1870s when a very disreputable victoria woodhall briefly became the poster child for the national women's suffrage association. when stanton's daughter harriet arrived from england to assist with the second volume, she was astop sonnished to find lucy was ab sent.
she convinced her mother that volume two would be suspect without covering them so it was harriet who poured through the women's journal, newspapers, essays and speeches to come compose a final chapter to cover the awsa as best she could. thus while volumes contain an amazing collection of material that preserve women's history, they are extremely one-sided and all but rerace the movement lucy stone and the work of the awsa. these are the very primary sources that scholars typically turn to when researching the 19th century women's movement and are still used today as primary source material. in most scholarly accounts, stanton and anthony loom large as does the national women's suffrage association, and lucy and the american woman's suffrage association are mere shadows. historical accounts invariably give the nwsa much of the credit
for the eventual winning of suffrage while almost missing the state-by-state approach of the awsa. but lucy's health was declining. after suffering weeks of pain she died of stomach cancer on august 13, 1893. more than 1100 people crowded into the church to attend her funeral. but even in death lucy was a pathbreaker. before she passed, she had decided to be cremated, a form of burial that was just beginning to be accepted in this country. ever humble, her reason was that she did not want her body to take up much space on earth t. boston's beautiful forest hill cemetery did not yet have a crematorium, so it had to build one in order for lucy to be cremated and her ashes buried there. henry, who had been making a name for himself in the women's rights movement finally -- finding the work that gave his life some meeting was
inconsolable for at least a year after lucy's death retiring to his bedroom for hours each night. he did help edit the woman's journal and lectured at various locales on women's suffrage. he died peace any at home in 1909. alice retained her role as editor of the woman's journal. she never married. a brief relationship she had with an armenian theology student ended when he died unexpectedly on a trip home. eventually, alice moved out of the family's large dorchester home and lived in cambridge. besides working for women's suffrage, she took other reform work such as the women's trade union league, the naacp and armenian causes. unfortunately, an unscrupulous financial agent lost most of her savings, but with the help of women like eleanor roosevelt and carrie chapman cat she managed -- though in much reduced circumstances -- to live on. she died in 1950.
her ashes and henry's were deposited beside lucy's. like her near disappearance from history, lucy left no offspring to carry on her name, and there's scant physical evidence of the places she lived and carried out her work. though she died 27 years before women finally gain thed the right to vote, she never lost hope that universal justice would be achoofed. as she wrote: we know it is only waiting to bless the world. she was ever grateful that she lived a long life to devote to this cause. this brave, passionate woman deserves more prominence in our history books. in writing this biography of lucy i know i can't resculpt the marble monument, but i want to give lucy stone her rightful place front and center as one of the major figures in the 19th century anti-slavery and women's rights movement and, most importantly, in our nation's history. thank you. [applause]
and i will be happy to answer questions. i know it's always hard to be the first one. yes. >> you know, new jersey is a quarter mile that way or 99 miles that way. where in new jersey? >> now i'm trying -- i'm blanking. i'm blanking, i'm blanking. montclair, which was not named that, it wasn't an incorporated town when they first moved there. they actually had two different homes, they moved, and that home was destroyed for a church parking lot. it was asphalted over. so there's no -- >> [inaudible] >> yeah, montclair. yes. >> what were your primary research -- resources? >> my primary sources, first of all, was this extensive
correspondence of the blackwell family which is at the library of congress and also at the schlesinger library at radcliffe. so even though despite the fact that so many of these letters were lost, and particularly henry's letters were lost, the blackwell family and also lucy stone -- even though she didn't write about herself -- she wrote hundreds and hundreds of letters. i don't know how she had time to correspond with as many people as she did but it's an amazing collection. it's on microfilm. that was the principal means. and then, of course, newspaper accounts of her and just, you know recollections by people who knew her well. but the letters were the primary, primary source. yes. >> you mentioned that she was unknown and untested when garrison or the massachusetts anti-slavery society invited her to become a speaker. if that's correct.
what was it that they saw in her that would allow her to speak each in front of promiscuous audiences? she becomes famous, but she was not known then. >> this is not known then, that's right. but she had contact with abby kelly foster who was speaking on abolition, and abby kelly foster encouraged her to become a public lecturer. the massachusetts anti-slavery society was looking for people. they really welcomed more speakers. they paid them very little. the other thing, and i don't know how much influence this had, but when lucy graduated from oberlin william lloyd garrison was there for an anti-slavery meeting and he heard, i mean, he heard about lucy because she was such an outstanding student. and even though she didn't, budget able to give this talk -- wasn't able to give this talk based on her essay that she never wrote for the graduation ceremony he heard about her, and there's a letter he wrote to
his wife commenting on this sort of miraculous lucy stone whom he had heard about. so i don't know the intricacies of the massachusetts anti-slavery society in terms of what it did but she actually went to boston to talk to whoever was head of it as well as talking to abby kelly foster who probably put in a good word for her. so i'm guessing that was it. but they only paid her like, $6 a week, so they didn't put out much money for her. yes. yes. >> i don't remember from reading if the two society eventually did merge. they did. >> yes. >> but you mentioned in passing that the american society faved state- favored state-by-state, kind of plodding work. to expand on that, did its style of pursuing the cause reflect lucy stone's style and personality, in your opinion? >> well, actually, i was just
hearing from another women's historian today who wished she could be here, but she said a really good history of the american woman's suffrage association has yet to be written. we do not know that much about them. you know, i think that dichotomy of the sort of national approach of the national women's suffrage association and the state-by-state approach of the american is probably overstated because susan b. anthony in particular was often present when states were trying to add women's suffrage to their constitutions. usually failed. so i think that's probably not not hard and fast rules in order to show the differences between the two organizations. but i don't know if it really reflects lucy, but you have to remember that it was up to states to determine voting rights, you know that states had traditionally been the ones to determine who could vote in
the state. and so i think probably she was, it was just sort of a traditional approach. she was fed up with politicians. i think maybe that has another that's another reason perhaps why she took the state-by-state approach. she wanted to get out to the people. she wanted to get out to well to the male voters. she was totally fed up with both democrats and republicans because neither would support women's rights. you have to remember that for both political parties having women vote did neither one a lot of good, because women would vote sometime, you know, some would vote democratic, and some would vote republican whereas in pushing for black male suffrage, not only was that done because slaves had been oppressed for centuries, but also because the republican party knew that those men would vote the party of lincoln, they would vote republican. but i am guessing that lucy
probably didn't want to spend a lot of time in washington d.c. dealing with politicians whom she had no use for, basically. she did not truth them. [laughter] she wanted them to support women's suffrage. >> do you think there's any connection between her graduation speech experience and her unwillingness to write out her speech for someone else to read and her later unwillingness to write out her speeches? >> the graduation speech was basically on principle. i mean, there's no doubt that was done, and she wrote about that and she wrote her parents about it and she got comments from them, and they were all proud of her for not doing that and not having a man read something that she had written. i don't -- i think her reason for not writing out her speeches was, first of all, she was so good at extemporaneous speaking, and also she wrote -- when she was at oberlin, there was a letter to her parents about how much she disliked writing, which is kind of interesting for
someone who edited a newspaper for so many years and wrote a lot of the editorials. but she actually said she disliked writing. and, in fact i did have -- well, when i went to berlin to do -- to oberlin to do research, there are these pages where she wrote a paper for a class but she created in the form of a newspaper. that was her essay, it was as if she were writing it for a newspaper which i think sort of foretells what she was interested in. the graduation speech was on principle really and yeah, she just she never thought about writing about herself. she was incredibly humble. everybody knew that about her. yes, at the very back. >> i think she was absolutely correct. h.l. mencken said the difference between the democrat and the republican party is between tweedledee and tweedledum. so she was certainly, at this stage of american history far more advanced than the other
people in terms of analyzing the political system. >> i would agree yes. she just -- and it was very frustrating. it wasn't only frustrating for stone, but, of course, for anthony and stanton and all that when they were trying so hard to get at least one political party to stand behind women's suffrage. yes. yes, yes. >> oh, yeah. the library company has in its collection the friendship album of amy matilda williams cassie -- [inaudible] which is signed by ruth city stone -- lucy stone, and i was wondering if you might say something about her relationship with other reform circles, some of whom were also graduates of berlin clerk. >> i don't know -- of oberlin college. >> i do know that she was, she was celebrated by the african-american community. i don't know about cassie in terms of i've never found those letters that you're talking about. it'd be great if i had.
but she i mean, she stood she stood in a very prominent position in terms of her true feelings about justice and equality. i was talking earlier about this where lucy was invited to speak. i've got to get this name right. she was invited to speak at the musical fund hall in philadelphia in early 1854. and this was all arranged by james mott, lucretia's husband. and so lucy came to speak. and just hours before she was to speak, she suddenly learned that african-americans would not be allowed, and she earlier that afternoon had distributed tickets to the african-american community. of course, wanting them there. and some of them showed up, you know expecting to hear her, and they were, they were barred from attending the hall. and actually it was frederick
douglass who got really upset with lucy because she went ahead with her speech and gave it to those who were in attendance, but at the end of her speech she said never again will i speak in this hall or any hall that will not allow african-americans. and so frederick douglass got very upset with her for even going ahead with the speech. but james mott defended her and said people in pennsylvania in philadelphia, they ride on buses where they don't allow african-americans, they ride you know, there are various places where jim crow prevails and this was just one of those unfortunate incidents. but two years later she was invited by the same hall to speak there, and she turned them down. she said, no, not going there. so yeah. yes. >> this is a nice follow-up to this question and i was just wondering whether lucy's differences with stanton and anthony, as you mentioned were over the 14th and 15th amendment but also her refusal to
compromise on her abolition u.s. beliefs? she seems hike such a strong ab -- like such a strong abolitionist the whole idea of lecturing for abolition during the week and women's rights on the weekend. that could be one of the reasons why most african-american women also tended to sympathize with the american association more than the national association. >> right. >> so the difference, that abolitionist commitment was something that she and abby kelly foster did not seem to lose the way stanton and anthony did very quickly. and they were not that involved. >> stanton even admitted it. i have some sentence in the book where stanton actually said that, you know, that the cause of anti-slavery was dearer to lucy than it was to her. susan b. anthony did lecture on anti-slavery too but lucy stone stood absolutely clear on her views about abolition all the way through. yes. >> yeah.
what exactly did she do during the civil war? did she -- she must have been appalled by the carnage. i'm sure she didn't believe that men should fight to the death -- >> you know, it's amazing how little i found on her years curl civil war. you know you look for everything, and, of course, i wanted to find more material, but i would say if there's a sort of, you know moment in her life when i don't didn't have much information, it was during the civil war. she was not that involve ised in -- involved in terms of thinking about it. she wrote about she occasionally mentioned the carnage. but, for instance, henry spent the $300 in order to find a substitute to seven for him and she very much supported that. she hated war. she absolutely hated war, and she hated the war. but during the war she was also con assumed her mother died right before the civil war her father died after the civil war. she was consumed with taking
care of henry's mother, one of his sisters was ill, she was taking care of young alice, so a hot of those four years were just spent on family. she was pretty much consumed with that. so i teach civil war history and it's like, you know, why isn't there more on these years but i think just is, you know, family issues kind of overwhelmed her. any more -- yes. last question. okay. >> i'm kind of struck, because lucretia mott gets so much attention, but she also spoke extemporaneously. she had her discourses on women in 1850, there are some letters but there's very little written of what lucretia actually said. but lucretia mott is a star in history, and lucy stone -- although i'm familiar with her history, but to others her name is lost. it's just -- >> so you're boarding -- >> it's a comment rather than a question. >> but also if you look in the history of women's suffrage,
lucretia mott plays a large role. she remained friends with stanton and anthony. she and stanton, of course, had been two of the five women who started the seneca falls convention and lucretia was an amazingly fair-minded woman. she was also friend with lucy. but i think that longstanding tie with stanton, you know, kept her in the limelight. and she's very much a part of those volumes i'm talking about that basically, excluded lucy. but, you know lucy also was responsible for her omission, you know? she did not want to contribute. but i think she had good reasons why she's not in those volumes. but it is amazing how much historians have depended on those volumes to write about the 19th century women's movement. so i hope, i hope. [laughter] she'll get back front and center in our nation's history. thank you for being a great audience. [applause]
>> thank you so much professor mcmillen. that was a really wonderful talk. and on that score of, hopefully lucy stone will remain in your consciousness, we have books for sale at a discount out front. "lucy stone: an unapologetic life," they're at the front desk. if you want more information on the program in women's history here at the library company or anything else that we do. please look for us at librarycompany.org. thanks again for supporting this great institution. have a great night and we'll see you soon. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> booktv is on twitter and facebook, and we want to hear from you. tweet us, twitter.com/book tv. or post a comment on our facebook page facebook.com/booktv. >> booktv recently visited capitol hill to ask members of congress what they're reading this summer. >> you you know, this has been a busy summer, but as we look at it some of the things that i've been reading really one for fun, one really more as it relates to my work which is called "talking with terrorists." it's a very lengthy book, it was written by a georgetown professor, actually wife of a previous ambassador who got in and actually did interviews with a number of terrorists and
extremists' families. so it gives you a bird's eye view of some of the motivations behind some of the horrific things that we see today. and so i felt like it was worth at least going back and concentrating on that particular book to try to understand what's going on in our world. outside of that there's a couple of great books that really are more of a fun read. one in particular is david mccullough's new book about the wright brothers. obviously, being from north carolina we have tremendous history there that we share with ohio and a number of other places with regards to the wright brothers. but, you know, david mccullough is a fantastic author. he does a great job of bringing history alive. so whether it's that book or john adams or some of the others that he's written i look forward to spending some great
time this summer doing that. additionally cheryl atkinson her book "stone walled" is fascinating when it comes to really holding our government accountable. serving on the oversight committee, it provides a new light as we start to see some of the things that are done or not done as it relates to holding our government accountable and transparent. so it looks like it's going to be a fun summer as we look to round it up, and so i would encourage all of you to get out and read a good book. my particular emphasis is looking at historical books of great leaders of the past. >> booktv wants to know what you're reading this summer. tweet us your answer @booktv or you can post it on our facebook page facebook.com/booktv. >> and now on booktv, "in
depth" with author peter schweizer. the author of several books including his newest, "clinton cash," as well as the bushes and reagan's war answered your phone calls, tweets, e-mails and facebook posts. >> host: peter schweizer welcome to c-span2's "in depth." the author or editor of more than a dozen book your most recent "clinton cash." we'll talk about that book, we'll talk about your upcoming book on jeb bush, but i want to begin with your book titled "extortion." ..